Upside down bread, upside down world
What a lucky sod I am. Let me count the ways.
After the recent extended period of cold snappiness, today was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day and I had the health to enjoy it. I also had running water so that I could shower and not sully the day with smelliness. Not to mention being able to make my morning coffee, so that I didn’t have to subject anyone to excessive early morning grumpiness (at least not any more than usual).
And time. I had time to contemplate the creation of some olive oily, potato-y bread. And time to contemplate what had been going on elsewhere in the universe this week.
A week where my brother’s bedroom ceiling fell in when pipes froze and burst in his attic. Where a friend was seen on national news toting buckets of water as the water supply to her housing estate has been gone more or less since Christmas. And, yes, Haiti (I’ve been taking English Mum’s lead on that and giving a bit for Shelterbox).
Well, it’s about time that I got my Christmas baking boots on, now, isn’t it?
For weeks, my feed reader has been choc-a-bloc with blog postings stuffed with festive baked goods, and I can only hold out against that kind of onslaught for so long. So, having realised that resistance was futile, I closed my eyes and let my mind drift across the sea of baked possibilities. I ended up in Spain.
While I was still, unquestionably, in Ireland, I had found myself dreaming of that Spanish confection known as turrón. It’s made primarily from toasted almonds and honey, and varies in texture from break-your-teeth hard to soft and fudgy. When I was a kid, my brother, who lived in Spain, would bring a selection home at Christmas and I have been a sucker for turrón, particularly the soft variety, ever since. It’s just as well I can’t lay my hands on it too easily here – I inhale and it’s gone. And while the brother hasn’t lived in Spain for years, in my head Christmas is still flavoured with almond and honey. So I thought that I would try to capture that in festive shortbread form. I was very pleased that I did.
Shortbread, inspired by Christmas past
The ladies of Laois are up in arms. Well, one lady at any rate.
My brother (and Laois resident), Tom, is responsible. Him and his scones, that is.